I was talking to my son the other day and he was telling me about having to get up and talk in front of his class. I asked if he was nervous and he said he couldn’t wait. So, we talked about speaking in front of his school…no problem. A room full of adults…why not? A stadium full of people…sign me up!
I on the other hand, break out in hives just thinking about any of those. I’m an introverted momma with an extroverted son.
Even with all of the rewards and happiness that parenthood provides, it may often leave an introverted parent feeling drained and in desperate need of some time to be alone. This is especially true if you’re an introverted parent trying to raise an extroverted child, who has a need for social interaction that far exceeds your own. Here are some tips for raising an extroverted child when you’re an introverted parent.
What is an Extrovert?
Healthline.com considers an extrovert to be the “life of the party”. They don’t need a lot of downtime and are at their best when they are around other people.
As an introvert, I’m the exact opposite. So how do we make life the best of both of our personalities?
Devote Time to Recharge
In order to provide the best care and environment for your extrovert, you need to devote time to unwind and recharge yourself. For many introverts, prolonged periods of social interaction can be daunting and often leads to feeling anxious or stressed out.
If you’re in a bad mood, there’s a good chance that your child will pick up on that. This can lead to your child feeling depressed. They may blame themselves as a result for something that couldn’t possibly be their fault. Schedule an hour out of the day for a break, to process and manage your stress. Explain to your child why it is important for people to recharge their batteries and turn it into a positive experience for them. This will also give your child the opportunity to process their feelings and experiences.
Provide Opportunities for Interaction
It’s important to provide many opportunities for social interaction for your extroverted child. However, that doesn’t mean you have to turn your home into a hangout spot for all of their friends. Schedule social interactions for your child with a wide variety of people. Spend time with family members, schedule play dates with friends from school or take a trip to a public play place where your child can meet new friends.
By establishing interactions outside of the household, you can provide an appropriate level of social interaction for your extrovert while also keeping your personal space. It is recommended, however, that you allow your child to enjoy interactions with their friends in your household on occasion. Even if it’s just once or twice a week, your child will greatly benefit by having a social outlet on a more personal scale.
School Environment for Your Extrovert
Make sure your child is getting an education that properly caters to their extroverted needs. Meet with the school’s staff of teachers and assess what type of classes would be best for your extrovert. Seek out teachers that have a significant amount of practical “field work” in their lesson plans.
The best thing you can do for your child is to get them involved in extracurricular activities, preferably involving groups of people or clubs. This is something that they’ll already be interested in getting involved with. It is a wonderful way for them to socialize and build relationships with like-minded people, as well as learn valuable skills. Discuss what activities your child is interested in – whether it be sports, the chess team or the drama club, and get them involved in as many as you and they can comfortably manage.
As an introverted parent, an extroverted child can sometimes seem like quite a handful. But, even if you aren’t as excited about or meeting new people as your child, it’s important that your kid gets the chance to do so. Every chance that you give them to interact with people will help them to develop their social skills and maybe even earn them a new friend.